Isles of the Forsaken

ISBN: 9781926851365
eISBN: 9781926851983

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The Forsaken Isles are on the brink of revolution. Three individuals are about to push it over the edge and trigger events that will lead to a final showdown between ancient forces and the new overlords of the land. Spaeth Dobrin is destined to life as a ritual healer—but as the dhotamar of the tiny, isolated island of Yora, she will be caught in a perpetual bond between herself and the people she has cured. Is it slavery, or is it love? Meanwhile, Harg, the troubled and rebellious veteran, returns to find his home transformed by conquest. And Nathaway, the well-intentioned imperialist, arrives to teach Spaeth’s people “civilization,” only to become an explorer in the strange realm of the Forsakens. These two men will propel Spaeth into a vortex of war, temptation, and—just possibly—freedom.

Reviews of Isles of the Forsaken:

What we have here . . . is a complex political novel dealing with Colonialism written by someone who has a deep understanding of such issues. Consequently it is rather good.
[Gilman’s] characters have complex motives and tactics for navigating events, and serve as convincing and sympathetic viewpoint characters. The novel delivers magic, intrigue, and high seas adventure, while under the surface is insightful subtext about gender, race, and especially class, a thought-provoking mirror.
[T]he book is so nuanced it catches you up. One moment you are struggling with exotic names and complex politics and the next you are swept away in what proves to be an utterly compelling creation. It was both maddening and a relief to discover that this is only the first of a series. Just as I was realizing that Gilman couldn’t possibly wrap up what she’d started by book’s end, I came across a note that warned that the book would be continued in Ison of the Isles . . . I hope it’s not too long: this is a cast and storyline I’ve not been able to leave behind, even with the last page read.
In fantasy novels, we hope for many things—vivid and unfamiliar landscapes, complicated and compelling characters, unexpected plot twists, high stakes and huge risks. Gilman delivers all of the above and more. This is a smart and engrossing political novel about imperialism and the clash of cultures in a fascinating new world. The best news? Apparently there will be more. Write like the wind, Gilman!
—Karen Joy Fowler, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of What I Didn't See
Isles of the Forsaken is a strong novel. . . . Gilman . . . is certainly a writer that can deliver a complex plot . . .
This book is about a people under siege, as well as a commentary on colonialism and invasive wars. . . . It hooked me in from the very beginning.
—Here be Dragons
Vivid world-building, fascinating characters, and a rich, complex story—I love this book!
—Kij Johnson, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Fox Woman
The interesting cast of characters did wonders for propelling me onward through the story . . . . An excellent start to a series I know I want to continue with!
It’s beautifully written. It’s complex and ambitious in scope . . . . Even better, it’s actually about something.
Gilman writes well and the action sections of her novel are as exciting as the rest of the book is gripping.
Isles of the Forsaken is an excellent book, beautifully written and rich with meaning. It’s a unique and unpredictable story full of surprises, interesting characters and mysterious forays into the world of the spirit that lingered long after I put the book down.
I like Gilman's writing style; she's good at sneaking in a lot of little details that make the world more believable and the reading experience much more pleasurable . . . All-in-all, I thought this was a great book and I'd recommend it to most fantasy readers out there.
[O]nce all the players in this drama are gathered together it is impossible to turn the pages fast enough to find out what happens next.
—Reading Reality
[T]he good news for Gilman and ChiZine is that I very much want to find out what happens. Can I have the next book now, please?

Other Reviews

goodreads 3.69/5 stars more...

Author Info

Carolyn Ives Gilman writes both fiction and nonfiction about frontiers. Growing up close to the U.S.-Canada boundary, she became a historian of borders between nations, races, and cultures, and a writer of fiction about even more exotic worlds than ours.

Carolyn Ives Gilman's most recent novel, Ison of the Isles, completes the story started in Isles of the Forsaken, which IO9 called “an insanely fun, fast-paced read that will appeal to fans of both Ursula K. Le Guin and George R.R. Martin.” In 2011 she was nominated for both a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award (for the third time). Her first novel, Halfway Human, was called “one of the most compelling explorations of gender and power in recent SF” by Locus magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Bending the Landscape, Interzone, Universe, Full Spectrum, Realms of Fantasy, and others, and she has a collection of short fiction, Aliens of the Heart, from Aqueduct Press. Her work has been translated and reprinted in Russia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Sweden, France, Poland, and Germany.

In her professional career, Gilman is a historian specializing in 18th- and early 19th-century North American history, particularly frontier and Native history. Her last nonfiction book, Lewis and Clark: Across the Divide, was featured by the History Book Club and Book of the Month Club. Her history books have won the Missouri Governor’s Humanities Award, the Missouri Conference on History Best Book Award, the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award, and the Outstanding Academic Book of the Year award from Choice magazine. She has been interviewed on All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, History Detectives, and the History Channel. She is currently working on a history of the American Revolution on the frontier.

Carolyn Ives Gilman is a native of Minnesota who now lives in Washington, DC and works for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

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